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The space between

13 Aug

Day 4

It’s ironic to be told “I’m here to answer any questions you have” repeated but then directed to go look up everything myself without being given the website and refer to documents that don’t exist.  That was my experience with our HR.  I figured I would be fine either way with or without her help, but it was becoming comical how defensive and unhelpful she was, even as I tried to make light of the situation.  Maybe one day she’ll realize that not every employee let go is desperate or worse off, and learn to treat people with respect, as people.

The reaction of some people has become one of the hardest parts to deal with.  For those who have been supportive, I wholeheartedly appreciate everyone who has been concerned and worried, and couldn’t imagine going through this without the support they’ve given me.  At the same time, for many others, it seems like being let go from your job has a certain social stigma attached to it.  Taking a step back, crossing your arms, awkward conversations and avoidance.  These little pieces body language speaks louder than the words and sometimes it makes me wonder if I’m not plagued.

This may in fact be one of the best opportunities in my life to take some time to think, to travel, and to possibly take a alternate route.  But when people treat you with pity and avoidance, look at you like you have an eye on your forehead, it is still difficult.  Even though you understand that the layoff is across the company, that R&D is a cost center and not a revenue generator, that the company is positioning itself for a sale and you’re in the wrong department at the wrong time… you still can’t help but question if there’s something wrong with you.

After sorting through one list of postings a friend sent me from his work, I took a walk to look for work spaces in the city in case I need to get out of the house.  Being a student has its advantages, and I was particularly glad to have enrolled in continuation courses at Parsons a few months back.  In addition to their art libraries, their affiliate library access was wonderful and I found myself in a quiet law library up on the 6th floor overlooking 5th avenue.  Power, internet, Mac, check.

Two block away from parsons was a church I stumbled upon and walked into.  I didn’t know and still don’t know the denomination, but sometimes you just need a place to talk to God at the end of the day.  I thanked Him for this opportunity, prayed that I would be led onto the right path, and hoped that He’s listening.

The chicken or the egg?

12 Aug

Day 3

Some of my friends and colleagues came over for a rooftop brunch today, many of whom have been very supportive for the last few days and gave their advice on what their thoughts were on my next step options.

A part of me dreaded having to face people in my emotional state, but I know it would bring me out of my slump and put some perspective back in my life.  If this layoff has taught me anything thus far, it’s to put down my pride and accept the kindness of others with humility.  Another easier said than done item, but I’m trying.

Over food and sangria, we explored applying for the fed as a pre-step for the white house fellowship I wanted to try for with one friend, and listed all my crazy business ideas I had with another, before settling on possibly food or travel as areas my ideas should stem from.  Along of course, with the solid advice that I should focus on two tasks only, and not stretch myself too thin.  I had gotten a similar suggestion last night from another friend, who recommended me to do what I loved, and develop something in travel as well – and started to wonder if they might have a different perspective on me that I haven’t explored.

As the afternoon comes to an end, my friends leave with a content stomach, and I am left with a full heart.  Everything happens for a reason.  I just wonder how we would be wise enough to know the reason to follow through properly, or is it that we journey through life only to find its purpose when we look back in hindsight?

Starting in the middle

22 Nov

If the average life expectancy in the US is 79, then I guess that makes this title a bit premature in terms of age.

But in terms of life in New York, we’re always in the middle of something: half way through a project, transitioning from a break-up, sorting through family issues, hopping from dinner to drinks to birthday bash, and in the midst of it all, not quite sure what direction we’re headed yet, but darn it if the tourist in front of me can’t walk any faster.

And in the middle is where this story begins.